This past long weekend my parents, brother and I hung out in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia.  The parents had been there since Monday and Erich since Thursday, but I drove the 6 hours there on Friday morning.  It made me love my car even more than I already did.  I felt like a low horsepower James Bond whipping around those mountain curves!  Except for when there were any other cars on the road, in which cases I was a total nerve case.

On Friday, we just hung around the house and ate food and played DUROK – kind of like Russian HORSE but with cards and not basketballs – and just relaxed.  I drank a couple of vodka-orangina mixed drinks.  You know, the usual.

On Saturday, we took the drive to Dolly Sods.  About 17 or so years ago, we tried to do the same thing.  My dad hadn’t done enough preparation and set out without a plan or good directions.  What resulted was a bumpy, twisty road and 6 kids between the ages of 7 and 11 barfing.  Scratch that:  5 kids.  I was the only one who didn’t barf because I’m tough.  Needless to say, we never made it to Dolly Sods or went hiking.  Which is too bad, because when my dad successfully drove us there on Saturday, it looked like this:

Not my photo of Dolly Sods

We went hiking through the Boreal Forest, not quite far enough to get a view of Canaan Valley, but far enough to dip my feet into some mud and see a beautiful trail.  Then we went and had some pizza, came home, built a fire in the outdoor fire pit, sat out there for about a half hour until it started raining, then went inside and played some more DUROK and drank some more before bed.

On Sunday morning, I drove the 6.5 hours home – I went a different route which, in addition to having fewer mountains and more traffic, took longer – and managed to roll into Chapel Hill like 3 minutes after Osiris arrived back from his trip to Virginia.  Perfect.

About apheckel

one world at a time.
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5 Responses to Monongahela

  1. Natalie says:

    Yeah, it was weird to see Osiris the night after Drew spoke about seeing him and you in NC. (the conversation you guys put out was the highlight for them) I digress, it was also nice how Osiris left me to my own devices when I was being yoked into a gay hump train on the dance floor.

    I mean, my ass ain’t THAT great.

    • apheckel says:

      Yeah, it was really cool chatting with those dudes. I would’ve been happy to hang out with them longer, but the drive demanded otherwise. I’m sure Osiris knew you could hold your own in the gay hump train. Because Big and Loud Ladies are made for gay hump trains – we just can’t help it!

  2. Doug says:

    Ah, Canaan Valley. That takes me back. Many family reunions were celebrated there (because in WV, it’s all relative).

    • apheckel says:

      You and me both – Deerfield Village FTW. If we were really related though, you would’ve been puking in the car with everyone else. So just count your blessings.

      Let’s plan an early spring ski trip during ramp season. Fair warning: I’ve never been skiing.

  3. carol says:

    that place looks amazing. i easily forget how beautiful some parts of the world can be.

    i’m glad you had a great extended weekend 🙂 it sounds lovely.

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